The Anatomy of a Hair Knot: Dissecting the Fall Trend

Rachel Krause

The ubiquitous hair knot is always a go-to no matter what the season—we all know it’s the perfect way to keep your hair off your face. But this fall’s take is an upgrade on the ol’ twist-and-go, and if the many versions we saw marched down the runway are any indication, no two are alike.

We asked Cutler senior stylist Micki Charles to break down three of our runway faves. What makes one hair knot different from another? And, more importantly, how do we get it for ourselves? Sure, they may not be as simple as a lazy topknot, but they will pull your scarf-and-sweater combo together in an instant. (For real, they’re perfect for wearing with scarves.)

altuzarra hair knot

Altuzarra Photo: ImaxTree

“The look from Altuzarra was simple and chic but left a big impact,” Charles says. “They started off with no part, which is always an attention-getter, and put the hair into a low ponytail.” The next step calls for an accessory we’d never considered to perfect a style: “Using a hair net, they swept the tail part into a hanging bun and secured it to the head.” To finish off the look, she recommends using a high-shine gel like Redken Hardwear 16 ($17) only on the head, leaving the rest of your length soft and natural for the bun. The glossy shine lends itself to a clean and sophisticated look, which Charles says is best achieved on hair that hasn’t been shampooed in a few days to give it grip.

vera wang hair knot

Vera Wang Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Of the hair knot at Vera Wang, Charles says it’s “pretty but intimidating.” As with Wang’s feminine, frilly designs, the texture is what really makes the style unique. To get the look, Charles says, start with damp hair and use a very light mousse like R+Co Chiffon ($27) for hold. Sweep the hair into a ponytail around the middle of the head—not too high, not too low—and braid the hair very loosely before securing it to the head with French pins. Complete the knot by tugging out small bits of the braid to score that messy, “undone” look.

victoria beckham hair knot

Victoria Beckham Photo: ImaxTree

Charles took the words right out of our mouths: “Victoria Beckham‘s disheveled pony knot is just unexpected—in a great way!” The hair has a clean, no-part finish with a natural texture that isn’t too shiny or too dry-looking, so Charles recommends working with day-old hair. “Sweep [the hair] into a pony, and before you pull the band around the last time, leave some hair not pulled through, forcing the end of the ponytail downward toward the [nape of the neck].” Use bobby pins on the loose section to secure it to one side to make it appear flatter. “What this look has that the others don’t is an element of surprise,” Charles says. “Most people feel they need to do something with the tail—but leaving it out is always an option!”

MORE: 10 Easy Ways to Put a Creative Twist on the Braided Bun